Regional Boutique Candy Companies
January 27, 2014 7:37 PM   Subscribe

Gertrude Hawk in Eastern PA, NJ and Upstate NY. See's Candies in LA and the west coast. What other regional boutique candy/chocolate companies similar to these two are around the USA? For my purposes, specifically Florida, but I thought all regions might want to get in on the game. But...

this is not a "regional candy bar" question. :-)

I also know I can get see's candies here in the Tampa area. I'd like to find homegrown candies.

posted by sandra_s to Food & Drink (53 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
The Massachusetts/Rhode Island area has candy nuns. (web site)
posted by XMLicious at 7:47 PM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not Florida, but delicious and homegrown:

Muth's Candies in Louisville.
posted by pecanpies at 7:47 PM on January 27, 2014

Purdy's used to be a Vancouver (okay, not USA, but right over the border) thing; I see it now has a few locations in Alberta and Ontario, but I think it still qualifies as a regional boutique chocolate retailer. Rogers' is the Victoria equivalent. Here in eastern Ontario we have Stubbe.
posted by kmennie at 7:48 PM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Brown & Haley is headquartered in Tacoma, Washington.
posted by trunk muffins at 7:54 PM on January 27, 2014

Fannie May in Chicago. Trinidads ftw!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:57 PM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
posted by lovelygirl at 7:57 PM on January 27, 2014

Wilbur Chocolate in Lititz, Pennsylvania, most famous for their Wilbur buds.
posted by gudrun at 8:00 PM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Laura's Candies in New Orleans.
posted by Houstonian at 8:03 PM on January 27, 2014

Anastasia Confections' Coconut Patties are a quintessential Florida confection. (At least for the past thirty years.)
posted by dreaming in stereo at 8:05 PM on January 27, 2014

TCHO in San Francisco.
posted by cnc at 8:08 PM on January 27, 2014

St. Paul has Regina's. I can attest that the English toffee is superb. They still make candy canes by hand, one of the last places to do so. They are lovely.

Owatonna MN has Costas' Candies and Restaurant. Really a small town treasure and worth a detour if you are anywhere close! It is near this, too, so two for one for tourists.

Abdallah Candies has been in Minnesota for 100 years. Great candy.
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 8:09 PM on January 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

One at work Mountain man candy in CO. Second, RMCF. One from visiting family in Hadley, MA. Visit to Napa, CA that shared the same name.
posted by brent at 8:09 PM on January 27, 2014

Rocky Mt CF is not a regional boutique and I don't think Fanny May is either
posted by edgeways at 8:10 PM on January 27, 2014

In Alaska you will find Alaska Wild Berry Products and their Wild Berry Jelly Center Chocolates.
posted by gudrun at 8:18 PM on January 27, 2014

Ohmygodsgood Moonstruck Chocolate Company here in Pdx.
posted by Beti at 8:25 PM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Krause's Candy in Albany NY is an upstate favorite.
posted by munchingzombie at 8:25 PM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Criterion Candies on the Jersey Shore. Also the myriad of other boardwalk fudge and taffy specialists: Shriver's Salt Water Taffy & Fudge, Fralinger's Fudge, Laura's Fudge, Steel's Fudge. The Goldenrod in York, ME, home of Goldenrod Kisses. Ye Olde Pepper Candy Company in Salem, MA, which claims to be the oldest continuously operating candy maker in the US.

Just a side note as it seems you might be interested in why candy companies are so regional and extend back a good ways. The business of candy was highly localized and regionalized until after World War II. This is especially true for chocolate. In the age before climate control, chocolate was a seasonal treat (cold-weather months only) because it didn't remain solid in summer temperatures (this is one reason we associate Valentine's Day with gifts of chocolate boxes, and Easter with chocolate bunnies). We can all probably still remember the melty Hershey bar that sat on the car dashboard - those were pretty much the conditions for all chocolate shops until AC became widespread - and confectioners were among the first to adopt it. And since chocolate didn't hold in heat well, it didn't ship well either, at least not until you could reliably control climate during the shipping process. That's one reason why there were at one time so very many different, small candymakers town by town - it was made locally, and you bought it and ate it locally. The melting issue is also the story behind the M&Ms slogan (hard candy shell, "melts in your mouth not in your hand," and behind the WWII Hershey's "tropical" bar, waxy enough not to melt even in 80-degree-and-up weather, which influenced the civilian bar recipe as well. Anyhow, the seasonality of chocolate is the reason that there are so many fudge and taffy shops in summer resort areas. Fudge and taffy can stand up to summer heat - fancy molded chocolates really can't. So the fancier chocolates actually got their hold a bit later on, after WWII when even small shops could be outfitted with AC and kept cool. And the story of how Hershey and Mars came to monopolize and homogenize the candy business across the country is another fascinating tale of industrial domination over a patchwork of small makers, but that's an even less related tangent!)
posted by Miko at 8:26 PM on January 27, 2014 [10 favorites]

There's Peterbrooke Chocolatiers, but I think they may only be in north Florida so far.
posted by PearlRose at 8:32 PM on January 27, 2014

I appreciate all the help, gang, but I need REGIONAL. Not one-town / one location shoppes. I'm not looking for places where it's made in the back and sold out front.

Thats why I specifically called out Gertrude Hawk and See's Candies. They can't be the only two in the USA, can they? :-)
posted by sandra_s at 8:32 PM on January 27, 2014

My sweetie sends me delicious chocolates from Donaldson's in Lebanon, IN for special days. Outstanding - and I'm a chocolate expert (in addition to being an expert on everything else).
posted by aryma at 8:33 PM on January 27, 2014

How about Russell Stover's? Is that regional?
posted by aryma at 8:34 PM on January 27, 2014

posted by brujita at 8:39 PM on January 27, 2014

Wockenfuss in the Baltimore area and Ocean City, MD.
posted by EvaDestruction at 8:40 PM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seattle has Theo (found at Whole Foods etc) and Fran's (not many stores but they do have an online shop).
posted by esoterrica at 8:50 PM on January 27, 2014

In visiting San Francisco along with Napa had Ghiradelli and Taza from my time near Boston. Las Vegas had Ethel M as place to visit, but I think Mars has bought them out.
posted by brent at 8:54 PM on January 27, 2014

Hebert's Candies in Massachusetts. "the first roadside retail confectionary operation in the United States" They opened up a string of "candy mansions" in the area where you could go have birthday parties and etc.
posted by jessamyn at 9:05 PM on January 27, 2014

Malley's of Cleveland, Ohio. They've long given up on keeping their recipe a secret.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:50 PM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Cleveland has Malley's. Until a few years ago, they even did tours of their factory--I went several times as a schoolkid. They have a bunch of outlets now, but they're all within an hour or so of each other, and (as last I was there, anyhow) the factory is attached to one of the stores. Standout product, imo: chocolate pretzel candy bars. Yes, please.

Also in northeast Ohio, Lorain has Faroh's Chocolates, which has an abysmal, outdated web presence. The chain itself seems to be on the decline, as well--when I was a kid, they were everywhere, but I think that most of their stores have closed in the last fifteen years or so. Again, though, the factory (and possibly there were several smaller production facilities?) was, at least at one point, attached to a shop, and I think also did tours. To this day, Faroh's makes the only white chocolate that I've ever felt was worth eating.
posted by MeghanC at 9:57 PM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

At the risk of presenting something too small...Dewar's Candy in Bakersfield, CA and has some really different taffies. Although they are a one shop place, they market and sell on the internet.

Mr. Somebody got a box from a customer last week. He is not sharing.
He will regret this, I vow.

(It might be that if you explain your purpose we could tailor our answers to suit it a little better.)
posted by SLC Mom at 9:58 PM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ah, should've previewed. Well played, hydrophonic.
posted by MeghanC at 9:58 PM on January 27, 2014

Cashmere Washington is home of Liberty Orchards, which sells aplets & cotlets and other fruit delight-type candies; I have seen these only in the Pacific Northwest, but they're ubiquitous here.

Boyer, in Western Pennsylvania, is home to the Mallo Cup.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:05 PM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I haven't see an Idaho Spud except in the Northwest. Anabelle's is also not widely distributed outside of the west coast.

Abba Zabba, you my only friend.
posted by bensherman at 11:11 PM on January 27, 2014

I've never seen Lammes outside of Texas. Which is sad since the Texas Chewie Pecan Pralines are fucking AMAZING.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:55 AM on January 28, 2014

Maine has Haven's, which has three stores, but also sells there wares wholesale to other retailers, so I guess that would make them regional.
posted by SteveInMaine at 3:17 AM on January 28, 2014

Florida has Hoffman's Chocolates with 6 locations in South and Central Florida.

Angel Mintis from Clearwater, FL and is sold regionally in chains like CVS, Wawa, and Cracker Barrel
posted by Stoatfarm at 5:11 AM on January 28, 2014

Ben & Bill's Chocolate Emporium is a small New England chain.
posted by Miko at 5:18 AM on January 28, 2014

Morgan Price Candy Company in Decatur, AL, is where my family always got candies to give as gifts. Their English Toffee, Peanut Brittle, and Pralines always bring me back to my childhood.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:46 AM on January 28, 2014

Can you get Ashers outside of PA/NJ/DE? I like their chocolate covered pretzels.
posted by interplanetjanet at 6:37 AM on January 28, 2014

Bridgewater Chocolate if you're in Connecticut.
posted by Lucinda at 7:11 AM on January 28, 2014

Maybe Whetstone Chocolates? I think it's too small for your purposes (it's a "one town" outfit) but at least it's in Florida (specifically St. Augustine).
posted by saladin at 7:30 AM on January 28, 2014

In addition to Haven's, mentioned above, Maine also has Wilbur's, which only has one store but does a lot of wholesale, and Len Libby, which is probably outside of the parameters of your question but deserves a mention because they have a life-size chocolate moose in the store.
posted by dizziest at 7:39 AM on January 28, 2014


I'd have to disagree with See's being regional by your criteria; it's owned by a multinational conglomerate and has retail locations across (and outside) the country.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 7:44 AM on January 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ethel M, when you're in Vegas.
posted by Rash at 7:57 AM on January 28, 2014

Sanders is a Detroit-area based candy company, with several storefronts in southeast Michigan and market distribution throughout the Midwest.
posted by twoporedomain at 11:11 AM on January 28, 2014

Chukar Cherries are sold only at a few places in the Northwest, as far as I know. And they are delicious.

Gertrude Hawk is kind of not regional, because of the other products they make: Frango's, stuff for Ben & Jerry's, I don't know if there's anything else. Do you mean just things sold under that specific brand?
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:22 PM on January 28, 2014

And further curiosity reveals that See's isn't regional, either.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:29 PM on January 28, 2014

(Sorry, a box and a stick and a string and a bear, I didn't see your comment when I wrote that.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:30 PM on January 28, 2014

> Also the myriad of other boardwalk fudge and taffy specialists

To which I will add Forbes, which is THE salt water taffy throughout the Outer Banks in North Carolina and in Virginia Beach (where the company is based.)
posted by desuetude at 12:54 PM on January 28, 2014

Anabelle Candy is based in Hayward, CA makes Aba-Zaba, Big Hunk and several other candy bars for the Western region of the US.
posted by JDC8 at 4:33 PM on January 28, 2014

In addition to Sanders, mentioned above, there's also Kilwins in Michigan.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 4:47 PM on January 28, 2014

Pearson Candies in St. Paul, Mn, makes several candies that can be found across the upper midwest. The Salted Nut Roll reigns supreme, though my dad's preference for the Nut Goodie has been gaining favor with me of late.

You can kind of fake a Salted Nut Roll with a handful of candy corn and some well-salted peanuts, but it's a sad, lonely sham.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:07 AM on January 29, 2014

What about any candy makers in New Orleans who make pralines?
posted by wenestvedt at 10:09 AM on January 29, 2014

The mention of nut rolls reminds me of Stuckey's, which kind of meets your criteria.
posted by Miko at 12:26 PM on January 29, 2014

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